Note from Nancy: This column is adapted from the one I wrote in 2017, which was adapted from the one I wrote in 2008. I think it needs to be repeated in 2022.
Stopped. Breathe. To move back. Relax.
Stop killing other people with your guns and your bombs and your words and your hate.
At home, stop beating your wife or your boyfriend or your children. Stop shouting obscenities. Stop getting drunk. Stop doing drugs.
If you need help, admit it, seek it, get it. Stop destroying lives – stop destroying your own life. You count.
Let’s all stop judging ourselves. The poor – the rich are not all wicked and greedy. Rich people – not all poor people are lazy or uneducated.
Racists, stop thinking that your skin color is superior to that of others, it is not.
Those who hold grudges, let them go. Put aside your pettiness. To forgive. If you think you can’t, just remember how much you’ve been forgiven. Ask God for mercy and then you will show mercy. It is not impossible. Also, holding a grudge only hurts you, so stop.
Likewise, wicked people cease to be wicked. Everyone, stop gossiping. Stop talking. Stop lying. Stop demanding. Please say thank you. Smile.
No one should ever be boastful or greedy, vulgar, rude or smug. People should be nice. People should share. And make their bed every day.
Those with strong opinions: go out there and voice them, but don’t try to impose them on people. People rarely change their minds by being yelled at or put down. Hate only breeds hate.
Also? People need to stop being so offended by every little thing. We humans are such whiners, namby-pamby weenies.
If everyone just stopped, breathed and relaxed at the same time – say noon tomorrow – maybe we could all see that what we’re doing isn’t working, our world is a mess and we’re taking action like tired toddlers who need a nap.
Or bullies on the playground who strike first because they’re afraid of getting hurt.
We need to stop hurting ourselves. We have to stop blaming others.
Let’s all have a glass of iced tea or a cup of hot coffee and a snack, find a comfortable chair and sit quietly for a little while.
Really, we all want the same things. We all want peace in our souls. We want to love and be loved, we want to be useful and respected.
We want to enjoy our leisure time, savor our food. We want productive work and a good night’s sleep.
We want to laugh with joy and fun. We want to express our creativity in a meaningful way. We want to be surrounded by beauty, impressed by wonder.
We want shiny hair and smooth skin. We want our lives to matter.
We want hope.
But when we are busy claiming and claiming power, prestige, money and power, demanding our rights and demanding that our needs be met, we forget that we are all in this together. When we get hurt, we get hurt.
The psalmist wrote, “Be silent and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
It means stop.
Dear all, even if just for a moment, let’s all stop. Keep calm. Since God says so, we should all do it.
It could make a difference, or at least it could be a start.
Nancy Kennedy is the author of ‘Move Over, Victoria – I Know the Real Secret’, ‘Girl on a Swing’ and her latest book, ‘Lipstick Grace’. She can be reached at 352-564-2927 or by email at email@example.com.